Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Comment - Email to William Nordhaus : the Singularity is not near

From the "End is Near" to the "Singularity Is Near". Below is an excerpt from my email to William Nordhaus wherein I expressed my skepticism towards the entire idea of the Technological Singularity itself.


Dear Prof. Nordhaus:

I have been thinking about the concept of a Technological Singularity proposed by some (Kurzweil, Vinge, Yudkowsky, et al.). I concur with Prof. Hofstadter in that a singularity does not seem likely in the near future. It is quite unclear to me that possibly the Singularitarians could mean by a process of 'continuous self-improvement' in artificial intelligence insofar as what has already been discovered.

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I also emailed Tom Davenport on the same issue and told him about my reservations about this idea of a singularity. This was in the context of a post in the Harvard Business Review on IBM's Watson computer program. In the context of the Singularity, it is pretty clear what  Davenport's post is implying : innovation is not programmable. This is more or less the same point that I made over on the silk list (see this thread) as well.

When I emailed Tom Davenport about his opinion on the Singularity, his answer was what I expected it to be - that he was skeptical as well. He also sent me one of his articles which gets into more detail on what happens when machines are assumed to be substitutable for humans. That all of us (Davenport, me, Nordhaus) are arguing along very similar lines has convinced me further that the intellectual position against the Singularity is quite strong.